Body Stories: Our best holidays in swimwear

June 18, 2024

Body Stories: Our best holidays in swimwear

Cocktails by the pool, floating in the sea, catching waves and snorkelling in clear water – no wonder swimwear is a holiday essential. It’s not only that water goes so well with sun, but also that water-based activities are bonding, fun and levelling. They’re activities you can enjoy alone, with friends or family.

Being in, on and around water has lots of health and wellbeing benefits. That means that we’re drawn to holidaying in places that are close to rivers, lakes and the ocean. And, because water is such a key feature of our holidays, blue spaces hold positive associations, and so we feel happier and more relaxed when we’re in them.

Those positive associations with blue spaces can run deep. In fact, it would be no exaggeration to say that they can be life-changing. So, we found out from some of our customers why packing that swimwear for their holidays is so important.

Deakin & Blue Holiday Swimwear X-Back Scarlet

Adventure holidays

Whether you want to try out a new activity or explore new waters doing the sport you love, holidays quite literally expand your horizons. You can book tailored adventure holidays in all kinds of water-based activities like open water swimming, surfing, scuba diving and kayaking.

Adventure holidays aren’t just about having fun and learning or improving a skill – they can change your life. From meeting new people and finding inspiration to pushing your boundaries and trying something new, opening yourself up to new experiences can unlock big feelings.

In her Body Story, Ameera told us how, having completed her cancer treatment, she went on a surfing holiday. “Three months after finishing chemotherapy I went on a surf trip. Looking back, I think ‘what was I doing?’ ‘Why would you do that?’,” she says. “But at the time it had felt like I’d been stuck inside for so long because of chemotherapy. I had cabin fever and so it was a bit of escapism. I was no good at surfing but I didn’t care. It was beyond enough to think ‘wow, I’m in the sea. I’m meeting people, I’m getting outside. I’m alive’.”

Emma’s swimming holiday helped her overcome her fear of being out of her depth in the sea after getting into trouble in a current when she was 22-years-old. “I did a sea swim on holiday in Swanage. It was such a big thing for me; I hadn’t been willing to go out of my depth for over 15 years and this would involve swimming 500m in the sea,” she says. “I turned up to the swim in an M&S swimsuit and my flipflops. I looked around and everyone else was in neoprene and booties. ‘Oh my god, what am I doing?’ I thought. But I got in and I did it. It was a really pivotal, liberating moment; it changed my relationship with water and gave me a taste of that invincible feeling again. I now feel that same feeling every time I dip my toe in.”

For Sarah, a scuba-diving holiday in the Maldives sowed a seed of inspiration that would eventually change the course of her career. “My first ever dive was when I was 19 and I was in the Maldives,” she says. “The Maldives is made up of small islands, so everything was centred around the ocean. There, I met a dive instructor who told me that he'd quit his job in a bank in England to scuba dive. He told me that the first scuba dive he did there was with manta rays that danced around him and how that was the moment he realised that the life that he was leading centred around possessions and money and the rat race wasn’t important… Then I went diving and I understood exactly what he meant.”

Years later, Sarah founded her organisation Girls That Scuba: “Meeting that man really helped me. I can't even remember his name and he definitely wouldn't have known, but he helped me start my journey to inspire people to get in the ocean. It shaped where I am today, as well as many other things.”

Deakin & Blue Holiday Bikini Swimcrop

Family escapes

Escapism is one of the main reasons we love being in the water. Being immersed in the natural world and away from the hum-drum of the daily grind means that you can find release the second you enter a blue space. When you have children, this is so important. Not only is it hard to be serious when you’re jumping waves or splashing around with your children, but it’s also incredibly bonding because the water is a great leveller.

That’s exactly what Helen experiences when she takes her children paddle-boarding. In fact, her children are better on the SUP than she is. She told us why she loves family days on the beach.

“I think it helps you stay young to them, doesn't it? It's important for them to see you as an individual as well. And for them to see you having fun and interacting in a different way when there are so many instances where you're having to tell them off or be serious with them,” she says. “The best thing is when they absolutely die laughing if we go out on the paddleboard and I fall off – they think that's hilarious. So, I'm happy to fall off to continue their amusement.”

You might have noticed you feel happier and more relaxed when in nature, but have you noticed that reflected back to you by your children? Active, water-based holidays can bring out the best in your whole family, and that’s part of the joy – as Kerry explains.

“My children are like different people outside; they come alive; they are magic. And I think that is the magic of water and the outdoors,” she says. “The children come alive and I come alive too. Even when I don't want to go outside, when I'm there, I'm just a different person. I'm carefree.”

Deakin & Blue Holiday swimwear

Finding friends

That bonding experience doesn’t just apply to families. Doing a water-based activity with your partner or friends allows you freedom to have fun, be yourself and bond on a whole different level. Not only does it help deepen bonds between you and existing friends, but it also helps forge new friendships.

When Kelly was on holiday in Wales, she spotted a local Bluetits group and joined them for a swim. Years later, she is an official ‘Bluetit’ having made many friends through swimming in the sea.

“One year we were at Pencarnan where the Bluetits originated. We’d been holidaying there for years and years,” she says. “The Bluetits were on the beach heading into the water. They were all shapes and sizes. I remember seeing one larger lady in a really flamboyant swimsuit, she so obviously felt great and didn’t give a toss what others thought… I walked over and asked ‘if I ditch the wetsuit, can I come?’ They cheered and welcomed me and I peeled the wetsuit off to join them… I love the community of swimmers. I never feel judged around Bluetits. It’s a tribe: I’ve found my tribe. These are my people; they’ve got my back.”

Deakin & Blue Swimsuits for Holidays Signature Swimsuit

A real escape

Whoever you holiday with, finding blue spaces can help you relax. Research shows that any landscape that’s dominated by water not only improves our emotional wellbeing when life is ticking along, but it also helps restore our wellbeing when things are tough and gives us a protective boost against future distress.

Enjoying the water with the people you love can round off of a holiday, adding all those blue space therapy benefits to the wonderful fun and relaxation of escaping the daily grind and letting your hair down in whatever ways make you feel good.
“I really love swimming, especially if I’m somewhere like the Mediterranean – getting into that blue water,” says Melanie. “I love dancing and I like walking. I also enjoy the deep breathing that we do in yoga – it’s often underrated, I think, but can really help how you feel in your body. And a good laugh – I love laughing and find it’s a great way of relaxing.”

So, book the holiday, pack the swimwear and see where it takes you.

Deakin & Blue Holiday Swimsuit 50+ Signature Swimsuit